It’s that time again! Time to light up our homes, trim our trees, light up the fireplaces, and drink cocoa to celebrate the most magical time of the year. To make your holidays merrier and brighter, the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce is holding its 32nd annual Holiday Light Parade on Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. The University of Maine at Presque Isle is hosting the lineup and the parade will conclude at North Street. We want to extend a hearty thank you to Versant Power for sponsoring this exciting parade! The judging platform and announcers will be in front of Gary’s Furniture and Appliance. 

This year the parking lot on the corner of Cedar and Main Street along with the old Rec Center lot by Carroll’s Auto Sales and Services will be reserved parking for older persons and/or those with disabilities and their caregivers. This area will be marked with signage and a parking attendant will be available to assist on Saturday.

Many Presque Isle downtown merchants will have their doors open for families to enjoy extra activities before, during and after the parade. 

Here is what will be offered:

  • Hub Coffee is hosting a Fun Run from UMPI to Hub Coffee. The Presque Isle City Council provided the permission to close Main Street at 5:30 p.m. Be prepared to cheer for the participating runners! Then enjoy a cup of cocoa at Hub coffee during the parade. 
  • Tis the season to donate! Please plan to pack some nonperishable food items for Feed the County as Dixie Lee Shaw reprises her role as Dorothy from the Wizard Oz. You will want to dance with her as you donate to a very worthy cause. 
  • Hardings Law office will host their annual open house with hot and cold drinks and refreshments. 
  • At Ignite PI/Northeastland, beginning Dec. 1, children may bring their letter to Santa and drop it off in his mailbox. Be sure that name and address are included on the letter so that Santa will know where to bring the gifts on Christmas Eve. On the day of the parade, they will be hosting a Giving Tree. Stop by to hang your ornament on the tree and make a wish and receive a treat, enjoy a hot cocoa or apple cider starting at 2. At 7 enjoy a beverage from the cash bar and some refreshments. 
  • Merchants on the Corner will be serving hot chocolate.
  • Neighborhood Books is providing hot chocolate and will have Sweet Pine Cookie Company in their shop selling sugar cookies. They will be open from 5-8 p.m.
  • Glass with Class will host a Grinch and Santa glass workshop at 10 a.m. and at 2  a Beyond Painting workshop of a tree or a wreath. Preregistration is required for both classes. The Shop will be open until 5 the evening of the 4th
  • Cook Florist will hold a Gnome class at 1 and a How to Create a Centerpiece class at 2. 
  • Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center will open Time Out Sport Bar to Wally and the Virginians at 9 p.m.

Special thanks to the local businesses who have chosen to keep their doors open to enhance the evening by offering extra treats for the public. This is not an all-inclusive list, so contact your favorite merchant for details. 

Mark your calendars to attend the Chamber’s Annual Holiday Craft Fair on Dec. 4 and 5 located at the Old Kmart at the Aroostook Centre Mall. The hours for this fair of over 80 different artisans is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. There is also the opportunity to walk across the mall and visit the stores on the way through and celebrate the St. Apollonia Dental Clinic’s Annual Festival of Trees at the old Sears location, which is always a magical treat! 

Light Up Central Aroostook! will return this year. Twelve prizes are awarded up to $300. Registration with the Chamber ensures that your address will be placed on a map and qualifies the applicant to be judged by our panel of judges and will receive a lawn sign, so people know that you are participating in the contest. Residents may post their decorations on social media using the hashtag #CACCLights so people who are shut-in may enjoy your festive presentation.

The schedule for judging is as follows: 

  • Dec. 13 Presque Isle
  • Dec. 14 Washburn, Wade, Perham, Caribou, Stockholm, Connor 
  • Dec. 15 Fort Fairfield, Easton, Mars Hill, Blaine, Westfield
  • Dec. 16 Any unjudged entries that we left to evaluate 

Winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 20. 

To register for Light Up Central Aroostook! or for more information, visit www.CentralAroostookChamber.com or call 207-764-6561.

The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce is happy to serve our business community and the citizens of our communities. We wish you much joy in this holiday season! Let’s shine brighter than ever!